But Chavarro notes that even though the average sperm count was lower in men who wore tight-fitting underwear instead of boxers, this value was still well within healthy levels. These men were selected from couples seeking infertility treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital between and Cultural Encyclopedia of the Penis. Shots - Health News The jury's still out on whether underwear preference matters to male fertility, but men who wear briefs, or other tight options, were found to have slightly lower sperm counts in a new study.
But when you slap on a pair of briefs, that natural cooling system is disrupted. Your dangly bits are held close to your abdomen and they heat up, harming sperm production. At least, that's one hypothesis. Several studies have examined this issue, but Chavarro says many of them weren't large enough, or yielded inconclusive results. Chavarro wanted to know whether the type of underwear worn really influenced sperm count. In their study, Chavarro and his team examined semen samples from men.
These men were selected from couples seeking infertility treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital between and Each man had filled out a survey for the clinic that included a question about what underwear he typically wore.
This allowed Chavarro to compare men who wore boxers to men who wore tighter-fitting underwear like briefs or bikinis. But Chavarro notes that even though the average sperm count was lower in men who wore tight-fitting underwear instead of boxers, this value was still well within healthy levels.
That suggests the difference between underwear types shouldn't be overblown, Chavarro says. Even with Chavarro's caveats, some experts aren't convinced. Germaine Louis, dean of the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University, published a similar study in examining semen from men, and failed to detect differences in sperm count or fertility outcomes.
Still, Chavarro says that switching to boxers is relatively cheap compared to most fertility treatments. For couples trying to improve their chance at a pregnancy, changing the man's underwear habits could be low-hanging fruit. Wearing tight jeans, for instance, could outweigh any benefits derived from wearing loose boxers.
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